Remembering Mani Rabadi – Queen of Polka Dots


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 18 , 2013           11.50 P.M.

        Mani Rabadi

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A well-known costume designer of 60s and 70s , Mani Rabadi died this month on August 06 , 2013 . She was older sister of yesteryear actress Nargis Rabadi a.k.a. Shammi or Shammi aunty .
   

Much before the advent of Manish Malhotra and Neeta Lulla , long before Anna Singh and Anaita Shroff Adajania and eons ago Niharika Khan , there was Mani Rabadi , who along with Bhanu Athaiya , became couturier to the stars in the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema.

Making her debut in 1967 with the Dev Anand starrer Jewel Thief , she worked all the way in to the 90s ending her career with the mega hit ” Hum Aapke Hain Koun ” .

” Jewel Thief ” [ 1967 ] , ” An Evening In Paris ” [ 1967 ] , ” Farz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapnon Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aankhen ” [ 1968 ] , ” Duniya ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mahal ” [ 1969 ] , ” Ek Phool Do Mali ” [ 1969 ] , ” Aradhana ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prince [ 1969 ] , ” The Train ” [ 1970 ] , ” Kati Patang ” [ 1970 ] , ” Gambler ” [ 1971 ] , ” Victoria No. 203 ” [ 1972 ] , ” Kachche Dhaage ” [ 1973 ] , ” Jheel Ke Us Paar ” [ 1973 ] , ” Bobby ” [ 1973 ] , ” Trimurti ” [ 1974 ] , ” Aap Ki Kasam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Amir Garib ” [ 1974 ] , ” Kasauti ” [ 1974 ] , ” Sanyasi ” [ 1975 ] , ” Rafoo Chakkar ” [ 1975 ] , ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] , ” Hera Pheri ” [ 1976 ] , ” Don ” [ 1978 ] ,  ” Amar Akbar Anthony ” [ 1979 ] , ” Aasha ” [ 1980 ] , ” Kaalia ” [ 1981 ] , ” Mard ” [ 1985 ] , ” Pestonjee ” [ 1987 ] , ” Maine Pyar Kiya ” [ 1989 ] , ” Hum Aapke Hain Koun ! ” [ 1994 ]  are her famous and most successful films .

She also won National Film Award , along with Ramilla Patel , for Best Costume for ” Pestonjee ” [ 1987 ] .


English: Scanned photograph of my grandmother,...

Costume Designer Bhanu Athaiya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from Bhanu Athaiya , she was another one , who was a professional dress designer in the early years of our film industry . She worked for 27 long years in this unpredictable and risk-driven industry . She successfully withered changing times , fluid tastes and all the changing patterns from ” Jewel Thief ” [ 1967 ] till ” Hum Aapke Hain Kaun ” [ 1994 ] .

Jewel Thief

Jewel Thief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Evening in Paris

An Evening in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amar Akbar Anthony

Amar Akbar Anthony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maine Pyar Kiya

Maine Pyar Kiya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun...!

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Born as Mani Rabadi in a family of Parsi priests , she was only a kid when her father died . Her mother made a living by cooking at religious functions. Later on , along with her younger sister Shammi , Mani Rabadi worked in toy factories after school to source their tuition fees. After school time, they worked at offices, ran a magazine and did odd jobs. Mani also worked with the Indian People’s Theatre Association and did some Gujarati films.

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Here is a gallery of her designs from the movies we all love :

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An Evening in Paris (1967)

Sharmila actually plays a dual role in the film. The villainous side incidentally always shows her tummy–just to help the audience keep things straight.

Uhh, what precisely are you looking at Pran?

Cutsy hair clip that’s bigger than my nose? Don’t mind if I do.

Jewel Thief (1967)

I’ve talked a lot about my feelings for Helen in a chicken suit from this film, but this picture definitely deserves one more mention.

Yup, those are cotton balls puffing out of that red sari like polka dots. Just saying, it takes a bold and confident woman to try and pull that off.

Dev Anand poses as a French jewelry importer. Can’t you tell by the beret?

Aradhana (1969)

Who can forget Rajesh Khanna’s tall Nepali hat as he bellows “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani” on a hillside?

Rajesh Khanna in a blue suit with a hot red turtleneck during “Kora Kaagaz Tha” is the epitome of suave.

Unarguably the most famous scene from Aradhana, Sharmila Tagore makes a sari out of a flimsy blanket…and the rest is history.

Bobby (1973)

Youth and freedom must mean a tight leather jacket!

Umm, ok Dimple Kapadia, where did the rest of your shirt go though?

Cute but completely arbitrary villager costume for “Jhoot Bole Kauva Kate.”

Farz (1967)

Nice ascot, Jeetendra.

Oh, those tight white pants that made you who you were. It’s no wonder Jeetendra was nicknamed “Jumping Jack”!

Prince (1969)

Did someone say “hep cat”?!

Helen and Vijayantimala dance off in “Muqabla Humse Na Karo.”

Kati Patang (1970)

Asha briefly portrays a 70s bride before running away from the ceremony.

Bindu makes a spectacle of herself in comparison to Asha’s stark white sari..

Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)

Rishi Kapoor dresses as a qawwal by night.

There actually aren’t really words for this.

Moss green leather jacket with religious bling.

You are wearing a fedora? Clearly, you have become a millionaire.

Don (1978)

Nothing says “bad boy” like a big red bow tie.

Don’t mess with her scarf.

Or his.

Helen rocks an overly slitted dress for “Yeh Mera Dil” in Don (1978)

The bottom line here is , could Jeetendra have seized Bombay by storm without his famous tight white pants ? Could Dimple Kapadia have shot to stardom without costumes that only covered half of the minimum required? Her polka dots top for ” Bobby ” is still remembered . Vyjayantimala’s red saree from ” Jewel Thief ” is still fresh in our memories . Amitabh Bachchan’s tuxedo in the song My name is Anthony Gonsalves from the film ” Amar Akbar Anthony ” or Rishi Kapoor’s costumes from the same film are still there in our memory lane . Polka dot waist – coat of Amitabh Bachchan in ” Don ” is unforgettable . You remember his iconic song Khai ke paan Banaraswalla …… from the film and you will surely remember his polka dot waist-coat . You will never forget any costume of legendary Helen . Mani Rabadi designed innumerable costumes for her in films . They were revealing but not vulgar .

Her work is so diverse, so eye-catching, and so unpredictable . Mani Rabadi is unarguably genius. It is sad that her death is not widely reported in newspapers . Today , when Parsi community is celebrating Navroz [ thier new year ] , I am writing this obituary of Mani Rabadi , one of the prominent member of Parsi community .

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , I offer my condolences to the bereaved family and specially Shammi aunty who is left alone to bear this loss at the age of 84 .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer heartfelt sympathies at the sad demise of the legendary but almost forgotten dress designer of the golden era of the Hindi films .

[ It is sad that I could know about her death after a week through the latest issue of ” Screen ” weekly . I found material about her in magazines like ” Screen ” , ” Parsi Khabar ” and ” Mid Day ” . For her photographs and her volume of work , I had to refer to online posting of ” Mr. & Mrs. 55 – Classic Bollywood Revisited ” . I express my profound gratitude to all of them . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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……. And Pran !! Never Before ; Never Again


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA            JULY 24, 2013           04.45 P.M.

On April 16, 2013 , I wrote a blog about Pran saheb . He was conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award . And I posted my admiration for the man . I am posting the link of that blog :

 

Phalke Award ……………….. And Pran http://wp.me/ptyXI-2Sa

Little did I know that within 3 months , I would be sitting in my office and writing this obituary . Life is unpredictable and its hidden hands play strange and unfathomable games .

On July 12 , 2013 while I was sitting in my study in the night , I suddenly saw a post on the timeline of my facebook – ” RIP Pran Saheb ” . I was stunned . But I know that sometimes facebook postings are wrong and erroneous . So I approached my twitter-handle and it was flooded with the news of his death . Now there was no doubt . It was confirmed . It was true that Pran Saheb left us for his last journey . He was 93 at the time of his death .

I cannot put my grief in words . My association with the persona of Pran Saheb started with films like ;  ” Khandan ” [ 1965 ] , ” Shaheed ” [ 1965 ] , ” Dil Diya Dard Liya ” [ 1966 ] andRam Aur Shyam ” [ 1967 ] . I saw these films in quick succession in Deoria and Allahabad and started admiring him as an actor . ” Tere Mere Sapne ” [ 1999 ] was the last film of Pran Saheb which I watched in Mumbai . Thus it was a 34-year-long association of a fan with the legend .

Pran - Zanjeer

Pran in Zanjeer (Photo credit: Kaddele)

His stupendous innings started in 1940 . He hit the screen 4 years after Ashok Kumar and exactly 4 years before Dilip Kumar . Generations got changed . Times and fashion changed . Era of stars and super-stars came and went away . From Ashok Kumar to Dilip Kumar , from Dilip Kumar to Rajesh Khanna and from Rajesh Khanna to Amitabh Bachchan , several film stars came , ruled and then either retired or faded into oblivion or simply died . But era of Pran never ebbed , never receded , never ended . He never went away . From Ashok Kumar to Arshad Warsi , and from Suraiya to Sri Devi , he worked with every star worth his name .

In my earlier blog I have given complete list of his 350 films . Here I am giving list of important films of his career . In the list of Pran Saheb’s important films , there are 144 films . In 1940s there were 6 films . In the 50s 14 films , in the 60s 44 films , in the 70s 51 films , in the 80s 24 films , in the 90s 4 films and even in 2000s there was 1 important film . It is incredible . FromYamla Jat ” [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh ” [ 2003 ] , it was a 63-year-long journey of excellence and stardom , rather super-stardom .

1940s

  • Yamla Jat (1940)
  • Khajanchi (1941)
  • Khandaan (1942)
  • Ziddi (1948)
  • Grahasti (1948)
  • Badi Bahen (1949)

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

  • Kiska Dosh (2003)
I am fortunate that out of his above mentioned 144 important films , I have seen 120 films . May be I am missing one or two films . But even 120 is a decent number and it shows my admiration for Pran Saheb .
Pran Saheb is now gone . His billing in the titles of films always used to be ………………………………….and Pran . And even in his death it is there . It is uncanny . In 2011 and 2012 several stalwarts of film world left this world for their final and eternal journey . If you go through the list, it is eerie . It is uncanny . The list will be :
Dev Anand , Shammi Kapoor , Navin Nishchol , Bob Christo , Goga Kapoor , Jagjit Singh , Bhupen Hazarika , Srinivas Khale , Pandit Bhimsen Joshi , Mani Kaul , Surinder Kapoor , Tony Walker , M. F. Husain , Shandar Amrohi , Sachin Bhowmick , Kalpana , Joy Mukherjee , Achla Sachdev , Dara Singh , Rajesh Khanna , A. K. Hangal , Jaspal Bhatti , Ravi , Pandit Ravi Shankar , B. R. Ishara , Yash Chopra ……………………… and PRAN
 

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , I offer my condolences to the family of Pran Saheb .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer prayers for the departed soul .

Rest in peace Sir !

In the world of films there will never be anyone like you . And on the silver screen , I will never see  ………………. and Pran .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.facebook.com/VidursKreatingCharacters

www.facebook.com/vidur.chaturvedi

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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